I watched a high-def stream of Jamie Foley‘s At Close Range last night. It contains one of Chris Walken‘s all-time great performances — he owns every scene he’s in, and the film faintly slumbers when he’s absent. But I remember very clearly that I couldn’t understand half of what Walken was slurrin’ and drawlin’ when I attended a Westwood all-media screening in April 1986. Hip critics and industry types loved it and so did I. Patrick Leonard‘s musical score was one of the best of that decade, and the cinematography by Juan Ruiz Anchía…forget it. It was even a good thing for Madonna. But Joe and Jane Popcorn said no. It cost $6.5 million to produce (not counting marketing), and it made a little less than $2.4 million domestic. That’s an embarassment!

Where were you 28 years and 4 months ago? I was single and living on Hightower Drive in Hollywood. I was banging around as a kind of independent publicist (New Line Cinema, M. Emmet Walsh) and living with a sense of vague frustration. The tolerable kind, I mean. Two years later I was married to Maggie and living on Franklin Avenue in the hills, and Jett’s birth was less than two months away.